Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Imagine America and England without the Revolution

by Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 5/9/12

Thanks to Stephen Bone for his generous comment yesterday RE France and “the colonies.” He adds RE my picking on the French, “After all, without France we would not have a country.” But historic time presents us with a riddle, one which I have thought about more so since my family moved to the northern part of New Hampshire. What would America be like without the American Revolution? Possibly much like it is today.
Most of my neighbors got here migrating downward from Quebec in the industrial period, but a surprising number migrating north to what is today Canada during the American Revolution, then heading back to work a hundred years later. But consider what Hitler might have felt when he drove his troops into Paris on June 14, 1940. Americans held still for two years against their French allies in the Revolution. Why would they bother to defend their natural enemies, England? But aid we did and we culturally rebonded with England via the invasion of France with both our armies.

In the end, we were naturally closer to England than we were to France. So suppose they had just worked out the tax thing together in 1776? Both the Revolution and World Wars I and II on England’s behalf could have been avoided. A diminished post-Victorian British Empire must have seemed an easy target and the Germany navy smelled blood in the water as early as the Queen’s Jubilee in 1897 when Victoria was in her last years. But would the Kaiser and Hitler have dared to challenge a realm as vast as a unified Anglosphere?
Here in New England taxes went up after the Revolution although the farmers were promised they would go down. And are taxes worth fighting for anyway? And had all the English-speaking realms together banned slavery as England did by the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 the American Civil War would have been avoided.

I couldn’t help notice yesterday that Australia’s economy is booming. It is the first major economy since the start of the financial crisis to record a surplus. One of my sons works there and another heads to England next year to study. They feel quite as home there as they do here. Increasingly, with a little help from The Beatles, Chef Gordon Ramsey, journalist like Stuart Varney, actors like the great Daniel Day-Lewis, it appears that things would have naturally occurred this way in time had not the Revolution broken us apart, and required two horrendous world wars to bring us back together. Back to where we appear to have been heading in the first place.

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